Man robbed Anaheim bank one day after his release from prison, prosecutors say

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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Man robbed OC bank a day after his release from prison, DOJ says
A man charged for allegedly taking three employees hostage during an Anaheim bank robbery had been released from state prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors say.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- A man allegedly robbed an Anaheim bank and took three employees hostage one day after his release from state prison, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Eric Walter Gray, 53, is charged with one count of bank robbery and forced accompaniment, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Gray is being held without bond and is scheduled to be arraigned June 24.

The bank robbery happened one day after Gray had been released from San Quentin prison, according to prosecutors.

Anaheim police responded to a BMO branch in Anaheim on May 8 around 4:40 p.m. following a report of a bank robbery in progress, according to a criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Trevor Twitchell. Gray was loitering in the bank and claimed he was waiting for someone to pick him up, the complaint said.

After he returned from using the bank's restroom, Gray allegedly jumped over the teller counter, stated he was armed with a gun and demanded money. He stuffed money into his pockets and then allegedly ordered the bank manager and two bank employees into a storage room inside the bank.

Two employees were released, but the manager was kept hostage for about an hour, the complaint said. Gray eventually left the bank with the manager and was taken into custody.

"While in custody at the Anaheim Police Department, Gray was found to have hidden cash and narcotics within his rectal cavity," Twitchell said in the complaint.

Investigators suspected he had more items hidden in his body, so he was taken to a hospital for a CT scan. While at the hospital, Gray "repeatedly attempted to escape and fought with officers, resulting in multiple injuries to the officers involved," Twitchell wrote.

The complaint alleges Gray admitted to jumping the bank counter, taking cash from teller drawers, telling bank employees he had a gun and holding the employees against their will.

If convicted, Gray faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Gray has a lengthy criminal history that includes grand theft auto, robbery, sexual battery and narcotics-related offenses, according to the complaint.